Nutty & Chewy: Farro Bowl With Ground Turkey and Poached Egg
Farro Bowl With Ground Turkey and Poached Egg
My go-to restaurant in L.A. is Osteria La Buca. Conveniently located around the corner from my house, it is an Italian-Californian, farm-to-table place that has a chill, friendly vibe and serves simple, fresh and unpretentious dishes. I love their handmade pastas, basic but irresistible pizzas, and potent cocktails. Unlike almost everywhere else in the city, their Sunday brunch is not a shit-show—you can easily stroll in and get a table without waiting outside for an hour.
One of the dishes I usually order is sautéed farro with sausage, which is scattered with arugula and grated pecorino, and topped with a poached egg. The whole thing is remarkably good and addictive, with a nice nutty flavor and chewy texture. I’m not sure how La Buca makes it, but I tried to recreate it, and I’m happy with the result.
Farro is a grain that can be traced back to ancient Rome, and it is a staple in many Italian stews and salads. It cooks relatively quickly, in about half an hour, and is quite versatile. My version combines it with ground turkey, but feel free to use ground chicken if you like. I’m always fermenting sauerkraut at home, so I threw it in to give it a kick of tartness, but you can skip it.
There are many schools of thought and various tricks on how to poach an egg. I learned my method years ago from a Saveur article—it involves a small stockpot, vinegar, and a whirlpool of water. Chemistry and physics work together, resulting in a white ball with a liquid yellow center.
- Serves 2
- 1 cup farro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons yellow onion, peeled, diced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
- 2 cups arugula
- 10–12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sauerkraut (optional)
- Poached Egg
- 4 cups water
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- Rinse the farro under cold running water several times until the water runs clear. Place the farro in a medium saucepan, add 3 cups of water, partially cover with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain any excess water and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper flakes and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 4–5 minutes. Add the ground turkey and thyme. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat into small pieces and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5–6 minutes. Stir in the cooked farro, stock, salt and black pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes.
- To make the poached eggs, bring the water, white vinegar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan (do not use a shallow pan, such as skillet). Crack one egg into a small bowl. When the water comes to a high boil, lower the heat to medium and, using a spoon, create a whirlpool effect. Wait until the whirlpool slows down a little, and then slide one egg into the water against the side of the pan. Repeat with the second egg. Poach the eggs for 2½ minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Mix the farro with the arugula, sauerkraut (if using), and tomatoes. Divide into two serving bowls and place a poached egg on top. Serve immediately.
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